If I could send myself messages through time, what would I say? That’s a particularly tricky question, since I am rather happy with my life, now that I’ve reached the ripe old age of 35. Would I suggest a change? Probably not. What I would do instead is reassure myself that things won’t be horrible. Too much of life is about worrying about your decisions and choices, about being stuck. So, I’d advise myself to stop worrying about this stuff.
5 Years Younger
I had just moved back to my hometown. I was stuck in a job that was turning out to be a minefield of the boss’ ego. My son had gotten eye surgery and I was worried about his development. I was applying for welfare for the first time in my life. So, to that me:
- It won’t be forever.
- You have to learn to be alone and independent, then you can train your life-partner to be what you need.
- You aren’t screwing up the kid; no, you just aren’t.
- Keep learning to cook; it will come in handy later.
- All this frugal stuff will make life much better in the future.
10 Years Younger
I was having a really hard time with my 25th birthday. I was working as a Nurse’s Aide, convinced I was never going to get past this part of my life. I was having issues with a belly dancing group that I’d been a part of for 5 years. I was getting burned out, and I was not thrilled about the changes going on. To that me:
- You enjoy dance, but you don’t love it; take the memories and run.
- All those people with problems? They aren’t your problems and you can’t fix them if they don’t want fixing.
- Embrace what good ideas you can get; it will help you figure out your own path and beliefs.
- Work is work, but you are not your work. If you don’t want to do this the rest of your life, take the plunge and do something else.
- Stop fearing change and growth; it’s going to happen regardless, so you might as well enjoy it.
15 Years Younger
There I was, dating a man who prided himself on being a sociopath. I wish I was joking. I had dropped out of college for him and was well on my way to bankruptcy and a trailer park, literally. He was an abuser and I was in his thrall. To that me:
- You are worth more than this, and he knows it.
- You are strong enough to survive.
- You will grow past him and past this, and nothing can stop you.
- If you have to consider criminal action to survive, you are doing it wrong.
- You get what you pay for: in terms of food, shelter, and people.